Deception in the Digital Age

Phishing

Over the years, there have been many definitions of phishing. According to the InfoSec Institute (2016), “Phishing is an attempt by Internet fraudsters to access and obtain personal and sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, and financial information, by utilizing social engineering techniques.” This type of fraud is actually quite old, dating back to the 1990s when Internet Service Providers (ISP) billed users by the hour for access. Skilled hackers would try to capture the usernames and passwords of unsuspecting victims by posing as an ISP, especially America Online due to its scope and penetration in the market. Fraudsters would harvest known AOL email addresses and send messages claiming to need account updates or validation of user profiles. The mass mailing strategy was like fishing, in that they were hoping to hook victims through deceptive bait. The term “phishing” emerged as a corruption of the

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